Masdar: The Carbon-free City

Abu Dhabi’s plan is to build the world’s largest and first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city. The project symbolizes the capacity of this powerful United Arab Emirate to be a leader in renewable energy. It will also show the world that independence from fossil fuels is possible (once the project is complete). Building a carbon-free city hasn’t been without its trials.

masdar city glass

A rendering of Masdar City from The National.

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Interview with Christy Rollinson

Dr. Christine Rollinson is the perfect example of a scientist with an atypical career. She works in the non-profit sector, as lead Forest Ecologist at The Morton Arboretum in Illinois. She grew up in the central Appalachian Mountains, received her Bachelor’s at Oberlin College of Ohio, and went on to complete her Master’s and PhD at Penn State. Finally, she did a Postdoc at Boston University.

head shot of christy rollinson

Personal photo from Christy Rollinson.

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The First Earth Day Song

I’m calling it the first because the impact factor of Lil Dicky’s “Earth”, released three days before Earth Day 2019, has already surpassed 60 million views during its first 9 days on YouTube. No other Earth Day song to date can brag that level of notoriety or relevance. Below is a short description of his motivation in starting this campaign. Warning: some language!

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In the Name of Earth Day


amazon lily

Today was an Earth Day unlike all the rest. Not that the environmental movement has ever lost its gusto in our hearts, but this year in particular everyone seemed to band together with the proposition that we need to do more for Earth. It was also a different day because I didn’t spend it picking up trash or re-arranging an eroded shoreline like I have in the past. Rather, today I supported the tropical plant conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, jointly operated by City of Madison Parks and the non-profit Olbrich Botanical Society, by visiting with a dear friend. Continue reading

The Global Carbon Cycle

What is the world’s largest natural carbon sink? Wetlands. But what is the world’s largest carbon stock? The ocean. My adoration of wetland ecosystems is not hindered by the fact that oceans are a larger carbon stock, though. Wetlands still win at sequestering the largest amount of carbon per year in peat. We can detect this because of something called a “carbon sink”. Carbon sinks have net negative carbon emissions. On the opposite end, carbon sources have positive emissions.

carbon source versus sink

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A Lifeless Terrarium

My friends are starting to show irritation every time I spout off about what’s going on in my terrarium. When I finally take a breath, they ask if I’ve blogged about it yet. No, I say. Lately, I haven’t seen anything in there. It’s odd. The springtail population almost completely died off shortly after two new additions to the tank. On that note, meet Spiro, one of the two new additions.


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